High Mast Lighting

5 Simple Steps To Successful High Mast Lighting

High mast lighting is one of the most efficient methods of lighting large areas; however, the right project process is needed for success.

Following years of continuous development, investment, and innovation many say (very kindly) that we are the world leaders in high masts. 
It’s true. Our team has designed and manufactured high mast lighting for clients across the globe for over 50 years, and our experience is unequalled in the number of high masts we have produced and installed in various applications from highways and sports to airports and ports. 
Drawing upon our years of experience, we have compiled a simple 5-step process to structure your high mast installation.
1.Understanding the scheme
As a first step, an audit of the site is needed to understand the requirements and assess the risks. Our team is on hand to help. We can then design the foundations and electrical supply, considering ground bearing pressure, terrain category, surface conditions, and environmental factors.  We also offer a full lighting design package.
2. Selecting the right equipment
High masts range from 18-60m in height. We offer ease of maintenance through a simple and effective winching system, which allows the lighting ring to be lowered to ground level for lantern maintenance. We can also offer a full high mast lighting design package to suit our clients' requirements. Rest assured we’ll help you find the right solution for your project.
3. Installation
Be sure to select a NICEIC, and HERS Approved Contractor.

Our qualified and competent in-house team has many years of experience in the specialist skills required for high mast installation.

We can complete the entire job or the specific steps you need assistance in. 

We also offer a global service where we can provide skilled personnel to supervise (and train) local operatives undertaking high mast installation and commissioning.
4. Commissioning
Once complete, you need to make sure that the lighting levels achieve the lux levels predicted within the lighting design. Our team can help.
5. Maintenance
High masts are substantial capital equipment items typically designed to last 25 years, but their normal design life can be extended with the correct maintenance schedule. 

The CU Phosco Team takes a proactive approach - we recommend regular checks of the high masts' structural integrity, including the mast shafts, lantern carriages, winches, wire ropes, and foundations, to confirm that they will be safe and operational for extended use.


CU Phosco® Lighting can help at every step of the way and offers customers who require it a complete turnkey package. Contact us for more information or view our Floodlight and Mast options below.

Recommended products 
High Masts
Stadium Mast
FL810 Area
FL810 Stadia




How to Light Bridges

Lighting Bridges

If you are about to embark on a bridge lighting project and you're not quite sure where to start, you’ve landed in the right place. 

There are many objectives for a bridge lighting scheme. However, the primary goal, as with any good lighting design - is to achieve good, uniform lighting that meets road safety and regulatory guidelines without any negative impact on residents and wildlife. 

We quizzed our expert design team to provide answers to some of the key questions asked on the subject of “how to light bridges”, their thoughts, along with real-world examples, are below:
How can I increase safety and reduce maintenance? 
Bridges can be busy and dangerous places. Choosing a light source with limited maintenance requirements and combining it with a good CMS can reduce downtime, disturbances, increase safety, and cut maintenance costs. 

For inspiration - take a look at how our Barton Bridge luminaire and CMS project helped Highways England > Barton Bridge
How can I reduce complexity? 
Working with a single supplier for luminaires, columns, and controls can help relieve some of the complexity of a project. This was the case for Mott McDonald when we worked on the Dartford Crossing scheme, full case study here > QE2 Dartford Crossing
How can I update for efficiency but hold tight to heritage and history? 
When it comes to selecting a luminaire for bridge lighting, you need to consider mechanical strength, vibration, and corrosion resistance.
Updating to newer technology doesn't have to mean wiping the history and heritage of an area. Choosing a lantern with the right aesthetics for the bridge's location with the latest advances in technology, could be a more sympathetic way forward, which is precisely what we did for our client, The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust, when lighting one of Bristol's most recognisable structures. Click here to read the case study > Clifton Suspension Bridge
Lastly, don't forget the support Columns. 
Although many projects will be under the constraints of using existing columns on new projects, you should consider the height to deck level above the water, as the base of the column is considered to be in an elevated position, as well as the overall height of the column itself. (This is in addition to the local site altitude above sea level).

Question: is the bridge in an exposed area regarding the local terrain? If so, you should use terrain category one, the same as coastal areas.

Often, even with new columns, road authorities will want to re-use existing foundation studs, these need to be surveyed for fixing centres and size of stud. Is there a limit on the thickness of the flange plate relative to the existing stud projection above the foundation?

We hope these pointers have helped get you started, if you would like to discuss your bridge lighting project further, then please contact the team here > 


BS EN 40-2 Planting Depths

How much do you know about the tolerance level of a column's planting depth?

With varying advice, the ILP recently approached us to help provide clarity to this question; having received an enquiry where the manufacturer had advised a + or – 200mm.

Which got us thinking, how much guidance is available for planting columns? 

Not the most riveting of subjects, we know, but! one of those subjects you really do need to know the answer to (as a column installer).

So, what guidelines are contractors using, and what are manufacturers recommending? Here are our thoughts...

What is tolerance?

For planting depth tolerance, let's define the hole being too deep and the column being too low as +ve tolerance and the column being too high out of the ground as -ve tolerance.

Where to look for guidance?

An obvious place would be BS EN 40. However, there are no specific tolerances stated on planting depth, because this is a product standard and believe it or not - it's not allowed (to discuss the installation tolerances of a column). 

However, Table 7 in BS EN 40-2 does refer to minimum planting depth; automatically defining the tolerance of the root being planted too shallow as zero.

In terms of planting too deep, there are no tolerance limits specified, but a requirement which states that the bottom edge of the door cut-out must remain 300mm or more above the ground level.

All clear so far? 

We also have the manufacturer's instructions.

The manufacturer may or may not guide tolerance. If they haven't, you should always approach them for advice. Guidance is case-specific, and in practice, the allowable tolerance of the planting depth before the column becomes unsafe, is dependent on the column load, the foundation material and ground conditions.

Some considerations

Levelling material 

It seems reasonable that a hole can be slightly over dug, then a paving stone or anti-sink plate placed in the bottom to level to the correct depth. This depth can be measured easily to existing ground level where there are no paving finishes.  


However, on a verge consisting of made ground that is non-compacted, you can expect some settlement of the ground level over time, and so while the graded level relative to the column may be ok initially, the ground will recede slightly leaving the ground level mark exposed.


Where paving finishes are required, you need to take into account the depth of the finishes placed around the column and plant accordingly. Ideally, the finished level should be clearer, so the allowable tolerance on planting depth could be less.

In summary, 

For hard paving, it is reasonable to have a column with a planting depth tolerance of +50 / -50 mm.

For grass or made ground finish, a planting depth of +100/-0mm at installation is acceptable, but after one year, this would be +100/-100mm to allow for settlement.

In answer to the original question, it is our view that a 200mm tolerance is too large, unless the column manufacturer has provided specific permission. The key message here is that there are general guidelines, but for your particular case, always check with your manufacturer.

For further guidance on planting any of our columns, please contact the team here. > 


In Built Vibration Monitoring System

Innovative major scheme for Highways England, Area 10 

Crown Highways has recently delivered an innovative major Lighting scheme Highways England in Area 10, with the installation of 22 new lighting columns which incorporate an innovative CU Phosco vibration monitoring system built in the column. The scheme is located on the M62 Rakewood Viaduct between junctions 21 and 22. 

This, amidst several challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

This lighting scheme was very high profile for Highways England as the lighting at this location had been subjected to previous media coverage. The location has experienced two instances where columns have been cut down under emergency situations due to them physically snapping off and falling into the carriageway.

The first instance was central reservation columns experiencing such high gusts of wind and funnelling effects the columns were snapping off. The second instance, the weather was heavy winds, with both snow and sleet. Video footage at the time showed verge lighting columns oscillating rapidly and then snapping off approximately 6 to 8 meters above ground and falling onto the verge.

Therefore, the scheme was used as a flagship for a vibration monitoring system designed by CU Phosco which monitors the movement and vibration of the column. This innovative technology can now detect the characteristics of a column and records their performance data for future analysis which reduces the possibility of further incidents occurring on this stretch of road.

The history of the previously problematic location showcases why this scheme has been so high profile and been subjected to extensive design parameters for the column design and approval.

The new columns have been subjected to a lengthy process of design to achieve Approval in Principle (AIP) and CAT 1 standards and check certification. This AIP process takes into consideration a plethora of data to ensure the column are safe for use on the Highways England network.

CU Phosco Lighting carried out wind flow analysis based on the site topography looking at the impact of the altitude and topography on the design wind speed to be used for the lighting columns. They also completed vibration analysis on the lighting columns to establish the susceptibility to wind-induced vibration; structural design conditions that are not specifically covered by the British Standard for lighting columns, BS EN 40.

CU Phosco highlighted that the original columns were likely to have been susceptible to wind-induced vibration which probably led to resonant vibration causing the early failure by fatigue within the timescales seen on site. CU Phosco designed and supplied a bespoke lighting column using their fatigue-resistant Tapered Tubular column solution that minimised the susceptibility to the wind-induced, resonant vibration. they provided further mitigation against vibration through the design and supply of a bespoke structural damping solution that absorbs the energy built up within the lighting column that causes resonance.

Within the scheme, there were two new feeder pillars installed, 8000m of new electrical cable and 4000m of ducting laid (also giving capacity for any future schemes in the region).
Collaboration is key 
The complex project was managed by the Crown Highways Lighting Framework Manager Mark Robinson he ensured the scheme was delivered collaboratively using the wider Crown Highways, Highways England, Amey Consulting and CU Phosco. Collaborative working between all these partners has enabled this scheme to be installed ahead of schedule and to a high standard.

Whilst the scheme was in progress we collaborated further to facilitate some additional scheme work in and
around M62 J21-22, these included:
  • Lining works repairs/replacements – Highways England Area 10
  • Bridge joint repairs and essential maintenance – Highways England Area 10
  • Fencing works – Amey Consulting
  • Facilitate drainage repairs – Amey Consulting
  • Replacement of roadside technology cables following CDR reports – Crown Highways
  • Installation of a new CMS lighting system – Crown Highways / CU Phosco / Signify
Delivery ahead of schedule
Due to the lead times for the new columns and with the added difficulties of getting the AIP signed off, the program was always going to be challenging. Add to this the unexpected COVID 19 difficulties the team on-site worked together to ensure the scheme was completed ahead of schedule and before year-end.

Mark Jones, Project Manager, Highways England commented:

“We are very happy with the delivery, support, collaboration and communication of the teams throughout this entire scheme.”

Mike Dale, Crown Highways Managing Director said:

“This was a great project to be involved in and it's always great to see new technology added to our network. The teams within Area 10 have really pulled together to ensure this project was delivered safely and on time. Given the recent constraints and safe operating procedures around COVID-19 we should all be proud to have a delivered an essential scheme in the region.”

David Lodge, Technical Director at CU Phosco Lighting said:

“It was great to work with Crown Highways who planned, coordinated and installed the columns on this project for Highways England delivering these market-leading innovative solution on time and to budget.”

If you would like to find out more about our vibration monitoring system or would like to discuss your lighting project further, then please contact the team here > 


Retrofitting LED Luminaires

Retrofitting LEDs has become widespread over the years, but how clear are you on what design checks are required? Take a look at Guidance Note 6 from the Institution of Lighting Professionals, co-produced with our technical director David Lodge, for a better understanding.

Click here to access > https://bit.ly/3iJm6Ep 

Want to learn more about Maintenance Factors?

Want to learn more about Maintenance Factors and how to use them? This free download from the Institution of Lighting Professionals, co-produced with our technical director David Lodge, helps explain how to determine maintenance factors and their impact on the performance and overall efficiency of LED luminaires.

Click here to access > https://bit.ly/3f1Z6hP